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November 20, 2013

NIAC Commends UNGA Third Committee for Iran Human Rights Resolution

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) issued the following statement following passage of a UN human rights resolution on Iran:

“NIAC commends the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee for passing an annual resolution calling on Iran to address human rights violations detailed most recently in a report published by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.  The measure passed with strong support, 83-36. NIAC urges all member states to pass the resolution when it comes before the full UN General Assembly.

“NIAC publicly urged for passage of the draft resolution.  Other NGOs have also advocated directly to member states to encourage them to vote in favor of the human rights resolution, including through a twitter campaign.  

“There have been recent advances in human rights inside Iran since President Rouhani’s election, such as the release of a number of political prisoners including human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh. However, as Dr. Shaheed’s recent report indicates, there continue to be many unaddressed and systemic human rights challenges in Iran, including a very high rate of executions, poor prison conditions, and limitations on freedom of expression and women’s rights.

“The Special Rapporteur’s report also discusses the effect of sanctions on ordinary Iranians, which have contributed to high unemployment and inflation and made it difficult for ordinary Iranians to afford their basic needs like food and clothing.  Further, sanctions have blocked nearly all banking channels and contributed to shortages of advanced, life-saving medicines in Iran.

“NIAC reiterates its call on the Iranian government to swiftly improve the human rights situation in Iran and address the violations raised in Dr. Shaheed’s report.  Given recent positive developments in nuclear negotiations, the United States and other countries should utilize diplomatic channels to press Iran’s government to make systemic progress on human rights and fulfill its obligations to the Iranian people.”

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